I was so excited by Presence on Sunday. Around 55 people gathered. Sung worship was passionate, the message inspiring and prayer ministry powerful.
Our thanks to Wole Agbaje from Imprint Church who spoke about obedience and shared prophetic words. There was a strong sense of the presence of God and a couple of prophetic images were received that I felt spoke into something of where we are right now: an image of angels coming into our church and redecorating, painting the church a different colour, ready for a new phase and a new season; another of a sponge which needs to go through a time of soaking and then when wet can spill out and be used for cleaning. I feel that God has had us in a time of soaking and we are transitioning to a phase of having a Kingdom impact beyond ourselves. The prayer that arose in my heart was ‘God we want more of you in our lives whatever that might mean for us’. This is a scary prayer to pray as it a prayer of surrender and submission.
Can we pray this together?
Thanks to Mary, Mack and Alison for organising and leading Presence, thanks to Daniel and Grace McSharry for leading sung worship, to Vikki Antill for baking her amazing cakes, and to all who helped set up and clear up especially Ann and Dan Dooley who did such a great job.
On our ways home from Presence, just outside church Mary and I met a man with crutches who wanted to talk to us. Three people leaving presence had waved at him and said ‘hello’, he wanted to find out more about the church – it turned out that he was a ex-offender who became a Christian in prison but was really struggling. We prayed with him and he wept as we did so, saying he hadn’t felt warmth like that in a long time. He is came back to talk more this week. I don’t think it is a surprise when we have moments of connecting with God in church that things like this happen outside of church.
Also on Sunday, we said farewell to Mike Huxley who is moving with his wife Jayne to Foxton. Mike has been a member of St John’s for 29 years so we are very sad to see him go, though excited for the new phase in their lives. Mike will be missed, he has been a great support to the church serving on PCC and a regular ‘Server’ at the 9. We send him off with our prayers and blessings glad in the fact that he has promised to come and visit from time to time.
At the 9 and the 10.30 we said a farewell to our pews. I wrote about this last week, so do click here to read more. During this week the team was working hard to remove the pews and tidy up the floor. Yesterday we took delivery of 300 new chairs. I remember the moment that we placed the order for the chairs just after Easter in faith believing it was God’s purpose for us but knowing we didn’t have the money in the bank. I am so thrilled by the response of our congregation in raising over £21,000 – we did it! Its not too late to give, we need a further £7-10,000 to complete phase 1.
Click here to donate: https://www.sjbchurch.co.uk/what-if .
Of course from next Sunday we will have chairs for our services. For the next few weeks on Sundays we will be experimenting with layouts for chairs, please do give us feedback on how different layouts work.
Whether you have school age children or not we will all be impacted by a change of pace/rhythm over the period of the school summer holidays (beginning next weekend) even if its just because of less traffic on the roads. Many of us will be on holiday over the next few weeks and so the feel about church changes. This will affect our services: The 9 will run as normal, The 10.30 will be all-age over the summer and we will have a focus on relationship building – look out for details of picnics, etc after the services.
Many of us will be attending New Wine over the summer (4-10 Aug, East of England Show Ground, Peterborough). New Wine is a fantastic event with stuff for all ages. It is a very rich spiritual experience with so much on offer and a great chance to hang out together as a church family. If you haven’t been before, why not give it a try?
Its not far away and day tickets are now available if you don’t want to stay over.
Click here for more info: https://www.new-wine.org/week-2.
If you don’t have transport, lots of people will be going back and forth so lifts will be available. Contact Paul Jordan for more info: 07766 055994